Courtney Love loses motion to dismiss Twitter defamation case

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Courtney Love loses motion to dismiss Twitter defamation case

Tue Oct 27, 2009 @ 06:28AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Courtney-love-ass-plant A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has denied Courtney Love's attempts to throw out what may be a precedent-setting Twitter defamation lawsuit.

In March, clothing designer Dawn Simorangkir sued Love for defamation, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress for "an extensive rant" on Twitter about how she was billed for custom clothing. Simorangkir claimed Love embarked on an "obsessive and delusional crusade to terrorize and destroy Simorangkir."

In response, Love filed a bizarre special motion to strike that accused Simorangkir of being a drug-pushing former prostitute who had exhibited racist, homophobic and mean-spirited behavior to Love. The singer asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit because she had a right to "publicly warn other consumers about unscrupulous vendors."

At a hearing yesterday, Judge Aurelio Munoz was less than impressed with Love's anti-SLAPP motion, saying that Simorangkir had a good chance of winning her case.

Judge Munoz had to analyze whether Love's statements on Twitter constituted a matter of public interest, protected by free speech. Munoz found that the case was only a "discreet private dispute," dismissing arguments by Love's attorneys that the singer's celebrity shielded her from Simorangkir's defamation claims. Since the judge ruled the plaintiff had a probability of succeeding on claims that Love's tweets were malicious statements, the case will now head to discovery.

Love's lawyer said she will appeal. Earlier this month, Love closed down her Twitter account.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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